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Press Release

ASHP Summer Meeting Sails to Success

The pairing of top-notch educational programming and stimulating policy deliberations drew pharmacists from across the nation to San Diego for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacist (ASHP) 2003 Summer Meeting: Learners and Leaders, May 31-June 4.   More than 3,000 pharmacists, health care professionals, and pharmaceutical industry exhibitors took part in the conference, which is also home to the annual session of the ASHP House of Delegates, the Society’s policymaking body.

Continuing Education: Educational programming at the Summer Meeting was built around learning communities for practitioners who shared an interest in a subject area.  Each learning community included structured learning experiences and informal networking activities that allowed participants to hear from expert faculty, practice new skills, share perspectives with fellow participants, and explore applications to their own practices. 

The topics for the learning communities were:

  • Transforming Pharmacy Reimbursement: A Roadmap for Success, 
  • Integrating Critical Care Skills into Your Practice, 
  • Enhancing Management and Leadership Skills, and 
  • Medication-Use Safety: A Practical Approach to Failure-Mode Effects Analysis and Root Cause Analysis

Educational programming at the meeting also included a “featured track” on health policy analysis that offered attendees a broad perspective on the ways issues like health care provider status for pharmacists, access to pharmaceuticals, and other issues fit into national health policy debates. 

Popular sessions at the meeting also included a discussion on the applications for computerized prescriber order entry systems, a review of new Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations’ medication management standards, and an update on current issues in pharmacy law.  A special session on pharmacists’ roles in emergency preparedness planning featured presentations by three pharmacist-experts who discussed local preparedness and the roles and training of pharmacists for the national smallpox vaccination program. 

Policy Deliberations.  Representatives to the Society's policymaking body approved more than 25 new professional policies, including measures that deal with roles for pharmacy technicians, requirements for machine-readable coding, and regulation of dietary supplements.  Delegates also approved detailed policy statements on the pharmacist's role in emergency preparedness, the care of patients with HIV infection, and involvement in substance abuse prevention, education, and assistance.  (A separate press release outlines more thoroughly the policy decisions of the House of Delegates.)

The Society’s new officers were installed during the House of Delegates’ final meeting on June 3.  Daniel M. Ashby, M.S., FASHP, was installed as ASHP President, and Kevin J. Colgan, M.S., and Janet Silvester, M.B.A., began three-year terms as members of the ASHP Board of Directors.  Marjorie Shaw Phillips, M.S., FASHP, was elected to a one-year term as Chair of the House.

ASHP officials also unveiled a new Leadership Agenda for 2003-2004 during the meeting, adding a plank dealing with improving health care through the use of evidence-based medicine to the Society’s list of top organizational priorities.

Click here to view scenes from the meeting's online photo gallery. 

 ASHP is the 30,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, ambulatory care clinics, long-term care facilities, home care, and other components of health care systems. ASHP, which has a long history of medication error prevention efforts, believes that the mission of pharmacists is to help people make the best use of medicines.  Assisting pharmacists in fulfilling this mission is ASHP's primary objective.  The Society has extensive publishing and educational programs designed to help members improve their professional practice, and it is the national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs.  For more information, visit ASHP’s Web site,